Chicken Meals Help Runners Recover
Chicken is very good for runners. It has all of the essential amino acids in the correct proportions required by the human body for optimum growth of lean tissue. It is a great recovery food for after your next tough workout or race.
Here is 1 of my favorite chicken recipes, which is very quick and easy to prepare. I recommend warming up a good loaf of bread to serve alongside of your meal.
Lemon Pepper Chicken Parm
Chicken parmesan is a perfect side for any sort of straight pasta dish. I like to make mine taste a little lemony, which provides a nice counterpoint to the red sauce.
1 to 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Spaghetti or Linguine
Lemon Pepper seasoning
Parmesan Cheese (a brick, not the pre-grated junk)
1 or 2 carrots
Preheat the oven to 350° to 375°. Clean the chicken breasts and cut off any extra fat; it isn’t needed to flavor the chicken. Pound it flat using a meat mallet to tenderize the chicken. If you have large chicken breasts, you may want to slice them down the center.
Prepare a bowl with lemon juice (or freshly squeezed lemon) and a paper bag full of bread crumbs and lemon pepper seasoning (or lemon zest and ground pepper.) Coat the chicken with lemon juice and shake inside the bag to coat with bread crumbs. Cook for 18 to 22 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, peel and chop up a carrot and cook in a small sauce pan with the pasta sauce. I recommend Classico Spicy Red Pepper sauce, but any sauce that is more of a sauce and less a paste will do. Set a pot of water to boil.
About 3 to 5 minutes before the chicken is ready to be taken out, start cooking your pasta. After the chicken has been cooking for 18 to 22 minutes, pull it out and make sure it is cooked through. Coat the top of the chicken with pasta sauce (I recommend leaving the carrots in the sauce and not putting them on the chicken) and further season the sauce on top of the chicken with your lemon pepper or lemon zest and ground pepper. Cover with some grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. The cheese should be well melted around the same time that the pasta is ready to be drained and served.
Total preparation and cooking time: About 30 minutes
Blaine Moore is a running coach in Southern Maine with 20 years of training and racing experience. Download his free report, The 3 Components of an Effective Workout, to learn why the work you put in during your training is only the third most important factor that determines how well you improve as a runner and an athlete.